Join internationally known artist Beth McCormick in an exploration of the history, variety, and beauty of featherwork in the Pacific Basin. McCormick joins host Manu Josiah and Hālau LeiManu in a family-oriented presentation which blends music, storytelling, science, history, and culture. The one-hour program is on Saturday, February 16, at the Ellison Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Malalo o ka Pō Lani program at 6:00 pm in the facility’s lecture hall.
Hālau members will use hula, stories, and chants to share the Hawaiian perspective on these symbols of prestige and rank, and their use in Hawai`i in ancient times. McCormick will share her research on how cultures around the Pacific Basin have used feathers, her own experience as a feather artist, and perspectives on some directions the art of featherwork is taking for the future.
McCormick is a largely self-taught artist who has spent her life exploring the expressions of spirit in a variety of media. She started as a production craftsman, creating an original line of hand-made jewelry that sold in over 90 shops and galleries. Her artwork ranges from intricate feathered masks and shields, to landscapes and figures rendered in pastels and oils. Her work has been collected internationally, including the Michael Rosenberg Collection in London, and the Chris Hemmeter Collection in Hawaii. Her featherwork can be seen on permanent display at the Hilton Waikoloa, and at the Gallery of Great Things in Waimea. She also works to establish sustainability of the natural world through the Permaculture Foundation of Hawaii, of which she is a founding member.
Those who come to the Maunakea culture night talks should wear layers, including a nice, warm jacket. Socks, shoes, and gloves are recommended. Bring a bottle of water to drink, and a flashlight. Be polite to those who are stargazing and cover the light with a red lens or filter. Tissues for those whose noses run in cold weather are good, as well. Please read this link for more safety information.
For those unfamiliar with the island, there are no streetlights on the road up the mountain. We must preserve our beautiful dark skies! And, Mauna Kea sticks her head up above the clouds, which means you will be driving through them, so plan for at least an hour of travel time from Hilo. Please read this link for driving information.
Hawai`i is now in Ho`oilo, the stormy winter months, and also Makahiki, the rainy New Year season. On February 10, we begin the Hawaiian month of Kā`elo. The surfing season is coming to a close, as the waves are no longer suitable. Kona (south) winds can bring cold, wet weather which softens the soil and prepares it for planting. The month is said by some to be named for a great farmer who cleared his land in this month. The core of the tree fern starts becoming firm and sweet.
It is winter now, and the snow goddess Poli`ahu may spread her white kapa over Mauna Kea at any time. Those driving up Maunakea for the program should prepare accordingly.
Some prominent stars and constellations this month are: Pūnana (Nest), also known as Hōkū Pa`a (Fixed Star), in English called the North Star; `Iwa Wahine (Lady Frigate Bird), known in English as the Little Dipper; Nā Hiku (The Seven) known in English as the Big Dipper, and Makali`i (Eyes of the Chief), known in English as the Pleiades.
For more information on the Malalo i ka Pō Lani culture night programs at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, contact the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Information Station. Phone: (808) 961-2180 Fax: (808) 969-4892.